Icy roads remain after winter storm hits Hampton Roads

A Chesapeake neighborhood is seen covered in snow on Jan. 5, 2018, one day after a winter storm brought blizzard conditions to the region. (WAVY Photo).

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — Snowfall may have finally subsided in Hampton Roads, but frigid temperatures and icy roads will continue to be a major hazard.

Snow plows have been working around the clock in Hampton Roads to clear and salt roads. However, drivers were cautioned that some roads refreezed as temperatures hovered in the single digits and low teens overnight.

Gallery: Cars stranded in the snow

“Well even when you see the roads and they are beginning to get cleared it still can be pretty slick out there, so slow down and use some caution,” said Jason Calbert with Newport News Public Works.

Download the WAVY Weather App | Local Closings and Delays

Virginia Beach Public Works crews are working around the clock clearing city streets.

“They are definitely getting better,” said Mike Lassiter.

Since the first flake fell Lassiter has been behind the wheel of a plow truck.

“This morning when I came through you couldn’t see the asphalt,” Lassiter added.

He and co-workers efforts are starting to pay off. The ice is melting but more work is ahead.

“Once it becomes ice then there are different challenges to it, but you have to have patience and you have to be focused on not just what you are doing, but the other people around you,” he said.

Lassiter is in his third year of driving a plow truck. His route for this year’s storm is mainly up and down Independence Boulevard.

He plows and then drops sand and salt. The sand is for the traction and the salt for the melting.

“Maybe the next time I come through I can get more of the ice off the road,” he said. “The sun is definitely helping and making it softer.”

But what that sun goes down everything will refreeze, creating a danger for all drivers.

“The key thing is to take your time and be careful,” Lassiter added.

Norfolk officials said Friday that primary roads were passable but still dangerous, and some were cleared down to the pavement. Most roads had a layer of hard-packed snow and ice.

Norfolk police said on Twitter that the traffic lights malfunctioned at the intersection of E. Little Creek Road and Chesapeake Boulevard. Officers were sent to the scene to direct traffic.

Officials said crews began plowing secondary routes in Norfolk on Friday. It is expected that snow removal in Downtown Norfolk will be completed sometime on Friday.

If you do happen to end up stranded on the side of the road, officials say to call a tow truck unless it’s an absolute emergency. Dispatchers were flooded with 911 calls for stranded vehicles.

Drivers should also be aware of pedestrians, who may not have been able to get their vehicles out of their neighborhoods, walking down major roadways. Leave plenty or room between you and the car in front of you, and be on the lookout for folks walking near the road.

Officials in Chesapeake tweeted an explanation on Friday that the city does not have the resources to plow residential streets.

Super Doppler 10 Online | WAVY Weather Blogs | Weather Alerts

Roadways all over the place were covered in blankets of snow after the storm arrived on Wednesday evening, making driving a difficult endeavor. Crashes were reported on area interstate highways early Thursday. One viewer posted a picture to social media showing a snow plow that appeared to overturn on the Chesapeake Expressway.

Virginia State Police reported that 138 crashes were reported in the Hampton Roads region from 8 p.m. Wednesday through 4 p.m. Thursday. There were another 288 reports of disabled vehicles.

A car is seen crashed off Interstate 64 in James City County Jan. 4, 2018. No one was injured and crash resulted in minor damage. (Credit: Virginia State Police).

Between the Richmond and Chesapeake divisions, troopers responded to 437 crashes and 592 disabled or stuck.

Norfolk police said Friday morning officers responded to eight crashes the previous night.

Road conditions in the area were described by some officials Thursday as “treacherous” and “slick.” Hampton police said on Twitter that it responded to a handful of accident and numerous disabled vehicles.

Officials advised people to stay home and off the roads if possible as cities deployed snow plows. WAVY’s Andy Fox reported Thursday that some crews received a police escort as they worked to clear roads.

VDOT said that “Tiger Teams” from across the Commonwealth were sent to Hampton Roads Thursday to help with the snow clearing. In total, VDOT said 13 teams were sent from Staunton, Lynchburg, Salem, Culpeper, and Northern Virginia.

The strong winter storm created a mess for much of the region’s transportation systems and infrastructures.

Hampton Roads Transit suspended services before the storm’s arrival. Those services remained suspended on Friday.

“After consulting with my senior transportation team, I believe an attempt to provide service before roads are cleared could pose an unnecessary risk to our employees, our customers and, critically, our bus fleet,” said William Harrell, president and CEO of HRT. “We will continue to monitor the situation and resume service when we believe it is appropriate to do so.”

Officials with the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel alerted motorists that the roadway was closed Thursday morning due to the conditions. The CBBT later was opened under Level 4 wind restrictions.

Local ferry systems were forced to adjust or cancel operations altogether because of the snow. The North Carolina Department of Transportation suspended all ferry routes at one point due to “extreme weather conditions.”

Many flights into and out of the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport or Norfolk International Airport were cancelled or delayed. There were more cancellations of flights Friday morning, as the northeastern parts of the United States dealt with snow.

Stay with WAVY.com for the latest updates on the road conditions.